Anti-gay misrepresentations: An example

Right Wing Watch reports that the Florida Family Association is expressing disdain over the fact that Office Depot is donating money to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.  In the pre-created message that FFA generated for its supporters to voice their disapproval to the office supply store, they cite as an argument that there is “no scientific evidence that anyone is born this way (gay.)”  To bolster their claim, they even cite the American Psychiatric Association:

The American Psychiatric Association wrote the following information in a
May 2002 article titled “Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Fact Sheet,”
published on its website     “No one knows what causes
heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.’

Unfortunately, the FFA fails to include the full American Psychiatric Association quote from their linked source (emphasis added by me):

“No one knows what causes heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality. Homosexuality was once thought to be the result of troubled family dynamics or faulty psychological development. Those assumptions are now understood to have been based on misinformation and prejudice. Currently there is a renewed interest in searching for biological etiologies for homosexuality. However, to date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality. Similarly, no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse. Sexual abuse does not appear to be more prevalent in children who grow up to identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, than in children who identify as heterosexual.”

There is an importance difference between saying that “no one has identified the specific biological factors involved” and “there is no evidence that biology is involved at all.”  The American Psychiatric Association said the former in 2002, while the FFA is pretending that they said the latter.

Of course, the FFA’s linked source has an even more recent quote (from 2009) from the American Psychological Assocation (emphasis added by me):

“There are numerous theories about the origins of a person’s sexual orientation; most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality. In summary, it is important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person’s sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.”

This statement is in complete contradiction to the FFA’s claims and their attempt to use the American Psychiatric Association’s 2002 statement to support their erroneous and quite possibly dishonest claims.  This is the kind of cherry picking that the anti-gay activists are notorious for.  When they’re not relying on their own faux-experts, they are cherry-picking partial quotes from real experts and misrepresenting them.  What’s strange about this instance is that they provide a link to a site that actually contradicts their cherry-picked soundbite.

One can only assume that honesty is no longer a family value in these people’s minds.

Leave a Reply